Torpedohallen is a relic from the war turned housing. This structure was a naval shipyard that built submarines (aka torpedo boats, hence the name). Tegnestuen Vandkunsten won the housing project in an effort to preserve and feature the existing building. The concrete structure, metal trusses and the slipyard where the subs were launched are what remain of the existing building. The concept was to use the existing structural grid as the framework to plug in new housing units and carve a community alleyway or courtyard through the center. This alleyway is open to the public and terminates at the slipyard which is now repurposed as a community boat launch.
The courtyard is open air. The ground floor units have public porches and the units above have balconies that are suspended from the existing roof trusses. The material palette is really tasteful and blatantly industrial. The units are sided in corrugated galvanized steel, the windows are trimmed in cedar, and the base units are clad in some european hardy-board painted charcoal with button head fasteners. The stairs continue up the communal alleyway build over the parking garage below in section. There is a corten scupper that runs the length of the alleyway to cary stormwater to the cut.
This building is a dream for me. It is essentially all I have ever wanted from architecture. The project preserves a historical relic while reviving the true function of this utilitarian structure. Repurposed from a secured war machine to a public boat launch. While it remains a private residence, the architects made a deliberate choice to make the community alleyway and boat launch open to the public. Tegnestuen Vandkunsten is an older firm from the 1970s. The firm has been recognized receiving the Alvar Aalto Award in 2009. I plan to document another of their housing projects and my true hope is to see their house clad in seaweed in northern Denmark. They are yet another firm worth investigating while traveling to Denmark.